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For the Homeland

by Orhan Veli Kanik

translated from the Turkish by Richard Schwarzenberger and Grace Smith

What we did not do
for the homeland.
Some of us died,
some of us made speeches.


Orhan Veli Kanik described himself this way: “Two extremely thin legs, a rather short trench coat, a canary yellow scarf, a triangular face, a back that puffs out like a chest, a face of broken maturity.” He died in Istanbul in 1950 at the age of thirty-six. (1991)

Richard Schwartzenberger is a poet living in San Francisco. He earns his living as a gardener. (1991)

Grace Smith is a lecturer in Turkish and Ottoman at the University of California, Berkeley. She has published widely in the field of Turkish Studies and has translated (with Ann Stanford) the poems of Yunus Emre. (1991)

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